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Local Organization Feed More Fights Food Insecurity In Virginia By Donating Meals

In the midst of a global pandemic, it can be challenging to know what to do or where to go if you should need assistance. Questions about where meals are going to come from or how one can shop with reduced funds is on the forefront of many minds. On this episode of Full Disclosure, President and CEO of Feed More Doug Pick, shares how his company is helping to fight food insecurity by delivering meals to those in need.

Episode excerpt

The following episode was edited for clarity.

[8:14]

Roben Farzad: How exactly do tripwires work for what used to be called food stamps, I guess SNAP was previously aid to families with dependent children. There was some controversy in the in the Trump administration of increasingly not just means testing it, but making sure that people were incented to find jobs. What's the state of play right now, if you are on the brink of losing your job or if you lost your job and you have to, for the first time, consider assistance with groceries and produce and food?

Doug Pick: Well, certainly some of those restrictions relative to job planning and whatnot have been released and that's a smart, intelligent thing for them to do. I've been on the phone in conversations with Abigail Spanberger, Mark Warner and any number of other politicians stressing so much that the only scale that will address this issue is SNAP and retail grocery stores. The scale of this issue, food banks account for anywhere from 10 to 15% of helping folks out in emergencies with their emergency needs. Food stamps, now called SNAP, covers 75%. So they are working mightily trying to get a 15% increase in total in SNAP and one would hope they missed it in this last round this week. But I know personally from conversations with Abigail, Congresswoman Spanberger, that they are continuing to push that and that is one of the answers. But folks need to very quickly sign up for SNAP. Unfortunately, I don’t have that information at my fingertips. I would suggest they do that as quickly as they can because that is the solution as we get through this. Without the government stepping in in that so important area we as a society are not going to fare well. Throughout history, food has been the cause of much civil unrest and let's not let that happen here. And I know that the folks I'm talking to understand that and they're working towards it.

Farzad: Doug Pick of Feed More, what if a person is in limbo? I'm thinking of a small business owner or a restaurant owner that just sees maybe a 90% decline. They’re not doing dine-in anymore, just as a fraction of the business that’s left is doing some degree of delivery has had to let many people go. They're not unemployed per se, but they're not gainfully employed either. Are they eligible for assistance, either from the state or from Feed More?

Pick: Well, certainly. I think even the folks that are furloughed can get assistance. I would hesitate to be the expert on this, Roben, but from our point of view, I can tell you there is no means testing. There is no set of questions that says whether you qualify or not. If you walk through the door of one of the 272 agencies that deliver our food and you tell them you need some help, you're going to get that help. That's who we are.

 

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